Classroom Supervision and Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools


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1.1 Background to the Study

The educational delivery system in Nigeria is fraught with myriad of challenges. These challenges include teacher deficit, inadequate infrastructure, wobbling educational policies and high cost of quality education. In the midst of some of these challenges, a lot of stakeholders have always focused more on the  academic  performance  of  students,  failing to  have  a  spot  on  the  other  processes  through  which excellent students’ academic performance is achieved. Other processes that are usually overlooked are school-community relationship, stakeholders’ commitment, and leadership and supervision styles of school managers.

 Researchers have always maintained that leadership and supervision styles as a rule reflect the academic performance in schools. Classroom supervision is not only sensitive but also, a very broad subject. According to Bamroongraks (2006), supervision, is understood as “the instructional improvement of schools and teachers”.

Classroom Supervision and Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

History   of   education   in Nigeria points   it   clear   that   supervision   existed in   our   schools before independence.  Supervision in senior secondary schools (SHS) has become topical as people have attempted to draw strong relationships between effective supervision of heads and the academic performance of students. Discourse in the supervisory roles of heads in SHS must not be treated lightly due to its consequences on academic performance. Many studies have  been  conducted on supervision  in  schools but ,  none  of  them  touched  on  the  role  of  its  effectiveness  on  Academic performance of secondary Schools in the study area.  It is against this background and its associated consequences that this study was undertaken.  

Supervision is an intervention that is provided by a senior member of a profession to a junior member or members of that same  profession.  This  relationship  is  evaluative,  extends  over  time,  and  has  the simultaneous   purposes   of   enhancing   the  professional   functioning   of   the   junior   professional(s),  monitoring the quality of professional services offered to the clients she, he, or they see, and serving as  a gatekeeper of those who are to enter the particular profession (Bernard & Goodyear, 2004). The heads in the secondary Schools do not only serve as senior professionals providing intervention to their  teachers.  They  are  also  mandated  to superintend  over  all  other  activities  of  the  school  but academic work being the central activity.

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Supervision is viewed as a means or process to an end.  This is  supported by Brinker (2003; Landers & Myers, 2007) who  opined that supervisors are expected to assess the extent  to which educational objectives are actually being realized, to collect some data in terms of previously stated objectives in which some judgment can be assessed. Research shows  that often  times in,  parents  have  worked  hard  to  get  their  wards  into  certain particular schools such as mission and private schools because of their sterling academic performance which is an outcome of vigorous and effective supervision. Even though the fact remains that effective supervision is arbitrary, its end effect affects society.

Classroom Supervision and Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools

Neagley and Evans (2000) conceived that effective supervision requires a high level of leadership. It is, therefore, worth to undertake such a study. For the purpose of this study, heads include Headmasters, deputy Headmasters/ Mistress and Principal / Vice Principal both academic and administration   of secondary Schools. Similarly,   in many developed countries, such as United Kingdom (UK) and United States, much more attention has been given to inspection than school supervision (Lee, Dig & Song, 2008).

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The Inspectorate of Education had originated from France under Napoleon’s Regime at the end of the 18th century, and other European counties followed the idea in the 19th century (Grauwe, 2007). For example, in UK, the first two inspectors of schools were appointed in 1883 (Shaw, Newton, Aitkin & Darnell, 2003) and in the Netherlands it was started in 1801 (Dutch Education Inspectorate, 2008). The terms “inspector’’ and “inspection” are still being used in various developed and developing countries , including United Kingdom (UK), United States, European countries and some African countries such as Lesotho, Senegal, Tanzania and Nigeria (Grauwe,2007).

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A lot of transformations are taking place in education throughout the world, which does not yet appear to have received the attention it deserves is the changing role of the inspector, supervisor or advisor as is now widely called. Where formerly the emphasis was on authoritarian control, prescription and enforcement, it is now on persuasion, leadership, consultation and guidance. Education in Nigeria is on the exclusive list of the constitution meaning that the Federal Government or the State Government has absolute right to determine the policy implementation and ensure strict quality control through the Federal Ministry of Education and its collaborative agencies.

What is supervision? Supervision is a formally designated behavior systems that interact with the teacher behaviours system in order to improve the probability that the goals of teaching will be achieved. This statement suggests that cooperative attitudes and behaviours must be established between the teachers and education supervisors for achieving positive results as an individual, group and organizational goals.

Classroom Supervision is the process of overseeing the work of teachers with the aim of assisting them to solve their instructional problems so that students can benefit maximally from classroom activities. This can be effected with the involvement of the principal or any other top management member (vice-principal and head of department) interacting with teachers and students in the classroom regularly to monitor the teaching and learning process.

According to Nwagwu (2004), the supervisor has the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating all staff activities and programmes of their organisation. The major reason for this is to ensure dutiful compliance of all teachers with established laws and declared goals through quality assurance, maintenance of standards and quality control. This view is in line with the National Policy on Education (2004) which declared that supervision is a device for quality control. The goals of the school can be achieved through the continuous supervision of the teaching staff and the nonteaching staff.

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According to Nwankwo (1984) as cited by Peretomode (2007). Classroom supervision can be divided into two categories. These are instructional and personnel supervision. Instructional supervision has been defined as a set of activities which are carried out with the purpose of making the teaching and learning purpose better for the learner. The situation on supervision in schools which reported by Ezekwensili (2007), shows that, there has not been thorough supervision in schools in recent past decades. The lack of supervision in schools has been the bane of educational policies.

A system not supervised and evaluated will not yield the desired result. It is the duty of the school managers to supervise and monitor classroom instructions regularly, thereby reducing inequalities within the horizontal and the vertical instructional delivery system of the school. When supervision is absent, it leads to ineffective curriculum delivery which often cause poor academic performance of students in secondary schools.

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